Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'The Florida Project' : Monkey See Gene Demby of NPR's Code Switch joins the panel to talk about Sean Baker's portrait of a 6-year-old girl and the mother who tries to take care of her in a run-down Florida motel.
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Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'The Florida Project'

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Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'The Florida Project'

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'The Florida Project'

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'The Florida Project'

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/578487176/578490372" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Actress Bria Vinaite plays 20-something single mom Halley in The Florida Project. Her daughter, Moonee, is played by Brooklynn Prince. Marc Schmidt/Courtesy of A24 hide caption

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Marc Schmidt/Courtesy of A24

Actress Bria Vinaite plays 20-something single mom Halley in The Florida Project. Her daughter, Moonee, is played by Brooklynn Prince.

Marc Schmidt/Courtesy of A24

Writer-director Sean Baker shot his 2015 feature Tangerine on an iPhone. He returns with The Florida Project, which isn't shot on a phone but still feels organic and close to the ground. It tells the story of Moonee, a 6-year-old girl who lives with her mother in a motel that exists in the low-income shadow economy adjacent to Walt Disney World — all the stuff that sounds like it might be part of the Magic Kingdom, but isn't.

In this episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour, Gene Demby is with us for a talk about the film — which all of us liked very much — and its thoughtful approach to the community where these folks live. We talk about the work of Brooklynn Prince, who plays Moonee, and Bria Vinaite, who plays her mom, as well as an unexpectedly softhearted performance from Willem Dafoe as the manager of the motel. He both enforces the rules and tries to look out for his economically (and otherwise) fragile guests and all their rambunctious kids.

A note: The Florida Project has had a little bit of a confusing rollout, but it is still playing in some theaters right now, and it shouldn't be too long before it's streaming. It's well worth seeking it out.